Panther Reads

Sean Hickey: ‘Lord of the Rings’

Grace Maneein

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Allen & Unwin

Panther Reads returns with AP Psychology teacher Sean Hickey’s recommendation of “Lord of the Rings,” a masterpiece to exceed everyone’s wildest dreams while simultaneously encouraging students to pursue their own.

Back with another episode of “Panther Reads,” we feature AP Psychology teacher Sean Hickey as he recommends “Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien.

“It’s essentially his masterpiece,” said Hickey regarding the value of his recommendation.

“Lord of the Rings” is a cult classic and almost as familiar to many of the students at this school as “Harry Potter.” It’s about a hobbit’s epic journey to return a dangerous and coveted artifact to its rightful place. Featuring fantastical creatures, such as elves and dragons, “Lord of the Rings” is an engrossing adventure in every sense of the word.

The smallest person can make a difference.

— AP Psychology teacher Sean Hickey

“[My biggest takeaway from the Lord of the Rings] is basically that anything is possible,” Hickey said. “The smallest person can make a difference.”

As an educator, Hickey finds the message intrinsically powerful, especially for young people with their entire lives ahead of them.

“There’s a quote by [J. R. R. Tolkien] that I try to use in the classroom as a mentorship: not all who wander are lost. What I have interpreted that to mean is that we all have a different destiny. We don’t all have to follow the same roadmap,” Hickey said.

Even though there sometimes only seems to be one correct path post-high school graduation, Hickey hopes that his endorsement of “Lord of the Rings” will make it clear that not everyone’s post-high school experience will include college, and that’s all right.